In Online Marketing, will the traffic go to you or your competitor?
As an online marketing consultant, it is amazing to me how many business owners I meet think that once they have a website, they have done all they can to market their business online. Almost daily, I speak with a business owner who looks at me and says they don’t need any help, they already have a website.
Well, that much is true. They usually do have a website. Just today I looked at the website of a HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) company. Their website wasn’t bad looking. It even had some nice animation on it.
However, when I looked at the keywords that the website said it was targeting, this website did not show up on the first page of Google for a single one. I did a little preliminary research and saw that the competition wasn’t great and could easily be overcome. So I prepared an information package for the owner to show how his website was performing.
Unfortunately, like most websites, the only traffic being drawn to this website was what I refer to as “accidental” traffic.
Online Marketing is like a shopping mall
The internet is like the world’s biggest shopping mall. When a mall is being built, I’m sure that the builders are out telling people that if they will just put their store they will be overcome with traffic and will have more business than they can handle. But we all know that’s not true. What stores do you notice at the mall. It’s those big stores on the end (called anchor stores) isn’t it. It seems like wherever you turn you can see them. In fact, the best ways to enter most malls is through an anchor store. So, when you’re an anchor store, people are walking past your goods at all times. If you do a decent job of making your products looks attractive, you are going to get sales.
Just like in a mall, not every business succeeds in online marketing
However, we have all walked around shopping malls enough to see that they also have wings that people rarely go down. Frequently they are not well lit and are sometimes even a little scary. And yet, there are businesses down there. These business owners were probably promised by the builders that just being in the mall would increase their sales and profitability tremendously. Those of us walking by wonder how those businesses stay open, and unfortunately many don’t.
Most websites are like the stores down those dimly lit wings in the mall. The business owners have invested tons of time and money preparing for the onslaught of business promised by the mall promoter.
The internet thing doesn’t work!
Unfortunately, many business owners just give up and start to believe that the “internet thing” doesn’t work.
You can be the “anchor store” of the mall!
Well, what if we could take your “store” on the internet and turn it into the “anchor store”, the store that seems to be everywhere you turn.
To do it, you have to follow some rules
It can be done, but it requires that we work with the people who make the directories. You’ve seen the directories in the mall, right? When you’re looking for a clothing store, it lists all of the clothing store options in the mall and shows you where they are. Well, someone makes those directories and the stores that they direct people to are the ones that people end up buying from. On the internet, those directories are called search engines. They go by the names: Google, Yahoo, Bing and others.
Search engines control online marketing success
In online marketing, the directories (search engines) make or break online stores. What is indisputable is that people are searching online. The question is, who is benefitting from all of those visitors? It is those businesses who most closely follow the policies and guidelines set up by the search engines.
As a business owner, you have to decide if you’re going to get the traffic or let your competitors have it. It’s really that simple. At a bare minimum you owe it to yourself to see what your potential customers are searching for and understand how much it is costing you to not get the traffic for your business.
The search engines write the rules that online marketing consultants live by. We don’t write them, we just try to help our clients understand and follow them. When properly deployed, online marketing can double a business in as little as 90 days.